About this Show

The Stream

News/Business. Wajahat Ali. Powered by social media, guests discuss untold stories, news and issues from across America. New. (CC) (Stereo)

DURATION
00:31:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v107

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Georgia 5, Us 4, Texas 3, Don 2, Obama 2, United States 2, Syria 2, Biden 1, John Siegenthaler 1, Stronium 1, Isaac Newton 1, Robidium 1, Jeffrey 1, Far As Plifning 1, Mccarthy 1, Lisa Fletcher 1, Newton 1, Christopher 1, Bill Nye 1, Kathy Miller 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  Al Jazeera America    The Stream    News/Business. Wajahat Ali. Powered by social media,  
   guests discuss untold stories, news and issues from across...  

    August 27, 2013
    7:30 - 8:01pm EDT  

7:30pm
jazeera.com. >> i'm lisa fletcher and you're in the stream. should evolution be challenged in textbooks. it's the question asked in texas so what does it mean for the rest of the nation? >> forget don't mess with texas. members of the scientific community have a different message for the lone start state. don't mess with evolution. texas is about to approve science textbooks that might be used for the next ten years. but there are questions about how evolution will be presented. the documentary the
7:31pm
revisionaries details how in 2009 the state board of education adopted changes that some say opened the door for creationism or intelligent design. popular science guy bill nye has been unspoken about the teaching of creationism. here he is with big think. >> i say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your -- in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we've observed in the universe, that's fine. but don't make your kids do it. because we need them. we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems. >> since its release last year that video last received about 6 million youtube views and it's generated a response from the group answers in genesis. >> creationists of course are very happy to teach their children about evolution and teach the problems with it and
7:32pm
teach their children how to think critically and the difference between historical science and observational science. isn't it interesting how christians aren't frightened to teach their children about evolution. >> according to a 2012 gallup poll, 26% of humans believe god created man in his form. 20,000 years ago. is there room for darwin doubters? wajahat ali, heated answers on both sides. >> we have set up the sequel of inherit the wind. here is cassandra, creationism, an assumed truth that's not how science work. there's trevon who thinks we can find balance. both should be presented as two possibilities of how we came to
7:33pm
be instead of forcing the teacher one way or the other. you, you are the third host of the show so throughout the show as always, join the conversation by tweeting at us using the hashtag ajm stream. >> bill nye, the science guy, glad to have you. >> glad to be here with you. >> hi there. when texas revised its science learning standards. also with us is kathy miller a grass roots organization in texas. and kathy, a ph.d. in molecular genetics. bill, the question is whether
7:34pm
science in the classroom should challenge creationism. why not discuss problems with evolution as part of the curriculum? >> because evolution is a faculty. evolution's real. evolution's hang continually. let's back it -- happening continually. let's back it up and i'd like to of course not to tell you how to run your show. but ask the creationists how they feel about the age of the earth. do they really -- because one of the early problems that darwin brought up when he was struggling with this in the 1850s was how much time you need to be nominally consistent what he perceived as the speed at which species evolve. and so he was concerned about that. but this was before the discovery of radio activity. so bear in mind if you examine the radio active decay of
7:35pm
robidium into strontium, if you are skilled and have a mass spectrometer, find that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. that problem that darwin wrestled with in the 1850s, resolved isn't really a question, swept away. to claim the earth is 10,000 years old, is just wrong. the earth is not flat and it is not 10,000 years old. so furthermore so this stuff is completely inconsistent with what we observe in nature. that is the concern to spend tax dollars intended for science education to teach a -- what would nominal yir be called with autopsy respect a creation myth, an explanation of things the way they are that's not right. >> so bill you bring up inconsistencies in the theory of creationallism. >> i want to go over the
7:36pm
requirements such as these, that students analyze all sides of scientific evidence, they analyze the sudden appearance stays is in the fossil record, the cell and dna model for replicating life. georgia, explain what those things mean and why you think they're important. >> well, i think that the biggest thing, what bill raised, was trying to lump evolution and creation, in with all the other science that -- types of science that we do today. evolution and creation are one time events that have happened in the past. they are not observable testable or repeatable. unlike science that we do today in the lab which is all of those things. so i think we need to draw a very clear distinction there and that he is making certain assumptions about the past when it comes to radio metri radio m.
7:37pm
we know those rocks were formed not that long ago and yet they can date up to millions of years ago. something is wrong with radiometric dating methods. >> let's be clear, these new standards are supposed to address gaps they believe in evolution. what's important about those four items from your perspective? >> well i think it's important to be able to talk about the criticisms of evolution. even when you talk about dna and the complexity of dna and you look at that and anything else that we would look at in life today that is so complex, we would have to say, it has to be a designer. there has to be something else that designed that or made that. that looks like that's one of the things they're trying to address there in those standards and helping people see that. so i think that's important, to point out, that the criticism of
7:38pm
evolution, i'm not advocating the teaching of creation in public schools but i do think that evolution is not in unquestionable fact and we do need to be able to do that and teach those things. >> here's james, creation belongs in theology and not in science books. science can be wrong but not god. james believes in god but he's speak approximating separation. speak going separation, i'm going to go with you kathy about this. aren't we violating separation of church and state by even advance being creationism in public schools? >> well the problem that the answers in genesis folks and dr. macleroy have, they know they can't teach creationism in public schools classes that was ruled unconstitutional in court. they can't teach creationism in a lash coat because that was also ruled unconstitutional. so now the effort is to
7:39pm
denigrate evolution, to deny its 100 years of evidence as a very sound and established scientific theory to kind of essentially give evolution death by a thousand cuts. that's a tragedy for students because they have a limited amount of time in the classroom and we liver in the 20th century. science matters for all kinds of reasons and we shouldn't be undermining their education to promote any philosophical or religious beliefs. >> there is concern afoot to say conconspirecy is too strong a word but somewhat of conspiracy on behalf of creationists, to slide belief into scientifickings rules. is that's what's going on here? >> i would like to explain when mr. bill nye talks about we're starting to get to the age of the earth, we're getting away
7:40pm
from the standards and what the textbooks are going to have to cover. they are going to have to cover evolution. the new standards that we passed are to ask for evolutionary explanations for two of their greatest difficulties in explaining the fossil purchase order and the complexity of the cell. i'm very excited about the adoption of the new textbooks because what these new textbooks have is they identify what i call hidden jewels. they identify the explanations that the evolutionists have for the complexity of the cell. if you look at the actual evidence that they need to show to show that evolution needs to be true is incredibly weak, it's aplaysingly weak. >> bill? >> for instance, i'll give you a good example. if you ask for the complexity of the cell they talk about the notion of endosymbiosis, where one cell devours the other cell.
7:41pm
what does evolution have to explain? they have to explain the origin of the biology book, they needs lots of facts. and if you want to sell continental drift you gota and south america fit together, they're similar geologic variations, and the mirrored atlantic rift, if you want to show evolution to be true you need to come up with millions and millions of facts. the facts just aren't there. i like to challenges evolutionists with the biochemical complexity. the chart 27 square feet and ask them how many of those molecules or pathways do you have an explanation for? they have no explanation for it. >> let's pause you right there and pose that we to bill. bill do you want to jump in? >> i have two questions for you sir. it sounds like because you can't understand it because it's too complicated for you to grasp you think it's impossible to come into existence without a
7:42pm
designer. furthermore, as far as plifning to what you call continental drift or tectonic plates, you don't have a problem with that. you're okay with the world being four and a half billion years old but you still believe that human beings came into existence 10,000 years ago. see that, for me, is just not believable. and i strongly think that any kid who hears that assertion, will see right away that it's -- it's not practical. it's just not usingable explanation for what we observe in nature. so is it your claim or is it your claim that when i find fossil dinosaur bones they were put there 10,000 years ago? that's one of your claims. that's extraordinary. >> let's stick with evolution. in evolution you have to show -- let's just go to the nature of science real quick. the nature of science says we have a new definition, the
7:43pm
definition from the national academy of science is also included in our new standards and it says it's the use of evidence to make testable explanations of natural phenomenon. how do you test historical things? you cannot split continents in the lab. can you not evolve in the lab. >> yes we can, our claim is you can. see look at the rocks on either side of the mid atlantic ridge, and you can see when the earth's magnetic field reversed. and you can match them east and west. it's quite compelling. it's remarkable. >> we're getting a little inside baseball in a moment. can you scientifically explain the things that don is suggesting are gaps in science? aren't there gaps in science? things that we really don't have answers for? >> well, here's our problem on our side of it. on the scientific side of it. whenever we produce new fossils, whenever we produce new evidence in my view creationists just
7:44pm
find new gaps. the more evidence you find the more gaps you get. it's one way of looking at it. but it is -- it's just as the -- as judge -- as is judge said in dover, pennsylvania, judge jones, it's inane, it is silly. so i don't -- like i'm not attacking anybody's religion but to claim that the earth is 10,000 years old or to claim that dinosaur bones, dinosaur fossil bones were put there 10,000 years ago is ludicrous. you could ask any critical thinking person -- >> we're going to pause for a break -- >> let's go to the claim your claim -- >> let's take a break and we'll come back to your claims. texas is the largest buyer of textbooks. but who decides what's in those books? we'll decide coming up next.
7:45pm
7:46pm
>>a. >> >>
7:47pm
would probably be very good at that also. that is it for al-jazeera >> welcome back, we're talking about texas science textbooks and whether they should leave the door open to talk about flaws in evolution. kathy i want to go to you. we're talking about texas textbooks here. what is their broader influence, why should people in colorado or anywhere else care? >> there's a reason we said don't mess with textbooks, not don't mess with texas. that's because texas is the largest consumer of textbooks in the country and when you're in this business you want to sell as many texas books as possible. science perpetually books is
7:48pm
paramount concern for many publishers and has happened for decades the books that are adopted here in texas then get pedaled around the rest of the cup because it's very expensive to change them. and folks don't even realize it but in california they figured it out and they introduced a bill that said they would ban texas textbooks, it got so bad, texas has such a bad representation of politicizing, experts in the subject matter to get what's right in the classrooms. >> our community has picked up about that point on politics. will says creationism should not be taught as social studies. it is a political movement or an american religious movement that should be in the upper levels. christopher says, politics is gone the way of good reform. speaking of politics 2009 and 2010, texas had standards that down played the role that
7:49pm
slavery caused the civil war and exaggerated the founding fathers and suggested the witch hunts by senator mccarthy and the house unamerican activities were justified. so don got to go with you about that, how much are politics playing a role in undercutting if you will evolution and promoting creationism? >> that's the whole point. fordham institute did a study of science standards all across the country, they just came up with a report a year and a half ago and updated it and they said that texas standards were exemplary. the week after we adopted those standards however, science magazine, american association for the advancement of science reported that new science standards for texas schools strike a major blow to the teaching of evolution. they haven't been challenged in court by trigger happy evolution is. all standards are good standards
7:50pm
in our schools, there is no creationism being put into the books. all it is is science and challenging ef pollution to come up with good explanation for the fossil record and the development of the cell that's it. to me that's the major below. i think these textbooks could be the final below. the evidence, the students could say is this all the evidence they have? the evident is incredibly weak forthing cell the gaps in the fossil record and the stays is. i'm looking forward to -- >> what is wrong with pungt weighted ewill up rum? -- punctuated equilibrium? let me point out as a science educator, what we're thinking about, you don't need the world's foremost authority on
7:51pm
paleontology or microbiology. what we're talking about is fundamental. it's before newton's laws. it's green plants. it's fundamental. here's the idea. we humans especially in the developed world work in organizations that are run from the top down. for example in the united states we have a president. evolution doesn't work that way. it's not top-down. evolution is bottom-up. so as the saying goes, nature has its bad designs eaten by its good designs. that's an aphorism. so i'm concerned that your other guests have misapprehension -- they don't grasp this middle idea, which is plild school at the highest. it's sort of elementary evolution. you don't need to go to extraordinary experts around the world. and i want you all when you get a chance to explain to us on the
7:52pm
science side, how you reckon the age of the earth, how you reckon the finding of fossil -- in this one example dinosaur bones. how you get to fit with your world view and finally really georgia -- >> we'll get georgia to address that on the other side of the break. we'll be right back. รง]
7:53pm
7:54pm
i'm not only in the universe, i'm in the stream. >> welcome back. i want to go straight out to georgia purdham. georgia if you could address bill's two questions he had before the break. how do you reconcile the age of the earth and fossils and secondly you're a christian and you are a scientist. do you think evolution and creationism can be taught side by side? >> let me address the first question. it's not about fitting the world view into my science, bill nye is using his world view to understanding the evidence and i'm using my world view to understand the evidence. he talked a lot about gaps, there are no gaps. again it's completely consistent
7:55pm
with a creation world view with a biblical creation world view. like you say i'm is a scientist so i look at dna, i study genes all that information and what i see is absolutely consistent with a biblical creation view. and so it's not about fitting as i explained earlier about the age of the earth and the fossils, we explain the fossils as a result of noah's flood, a catastrophic deluge and you would expect to find all these dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth and guess what that's what you see as a result of the flood. observational science that we study today is consistent with the biblical world view. i'm not an advocate -- >> so your claim -- >> i'm not an advocate -- let me address the second question. i'm not an advocate to teach creationism in the public schools. i have a daughter in public schools. i believe it is my job to teach her the truth starting with the
7:56pm
bible. so i see full well what she's learning and i teach her about the problems with that. and i have no issues with the -- in my opinion like kathy said earlier there is so much science that needs to be taught to our kids so why don't we focus on the good observational science that we're doing every day and leave the historical science out of it. >> whoa whoa. that's not okay to use my words and deny science. >> it's nonsensical to us on our side. so hang on. so your claim is that for example, if i find feather dinosaur fossils in china, those were put there during a primordial flood that happened just ten centuries ago, that's your -- i mean 10,000 years ago? that's your claim? >> talking about 4,000 years ago, yes. >> so at the same time is your
7:57pm
claim is, stronium and robidium, you can tell one with a mass spectrometer, those clocks were set 10,000 years ago, and when i observe light 10,000 years ago those were put there, that's your claim 87? >> well data is based on assumptions of the past. you don't know because you weren't there. >> no i wasn't there but i'm pretty sure we had a civil war. i'm pretty sure we had isaac newton, i'm pretty sure we had gal laigalileo. >> we're not going to get this solved today or any time soon but we want to thank all of our guests, bill, don, ca have i and
7:58pm
georgia. thank you. bill, sit tight, we want to leave time for questions from our viewers outside of the topic today. waj, at a it away. >> what are the best ways to make science relatable and interesting to kids and adults? >> i say just mess around. i say this all the time. explore. when you explore, whether it's your baking soda and vinegar and a balloon or your backyard under threat of climate change fire right now, that's an assertion, under threat of fire is yosemite national park, you'll have two things when you explore. you'll make discoveries of some sort. your backyard you'll almost find a type of insect you've never seen before and the other thing is you'll have an adventure. so go out there and look around. every day you will learn something. >> bill, speak going fires we have about 30 seconds left.
7:59pm
here's jeffrey, do you think wildfires can speed up global warming? >> well, there's a lot of studies about the effect of soot. soot apparently is you have two problems. you have carbon dioxide being produced and soot also darkens snow fields which make them soak up more sunlight which make them melt more. everybody is talking about the water supply in san franciscan but soon in coming months there will be no way to hold the snow pack and that will be further trouble in that area. >> all right that is all the time we have. again our thanks to don, caity georgia and of course bill nye, the science guy. thank you for taking part in our conversation. until next time, waj and i will see you next time.
8:00pm
>> welcome to al jazeera and this special news hour. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. the focus is on syria and the major decision facing president obama. it's a decision that could have a tremendous impact on the united states and the world. how will the u.s. respond to the use of chemical weapons in syria? and is president obama about to launch a military attack? we heard some tough talk from the administration today. here's what vice president biden had to say. >> chemical weapons have been used.